I never drink alone and I never eat ice cream alone. I am not and have never been an alcoholic: however, in years past, I have been known to polish off nearly an entire pint of ice cream, especially when I have an irritated throat. Hence, I never keep the stuff in the house. I will stop at a Carvel very rarely because I find ice cream nearly irresistible. But I’m usually there with someone else.
What I also find irresistible is older signage, and I found a bit of it in Floral Park.
The original Carvel, opened by Tom Carvel (1906-1990) in Hartsdale, New York in Westchester County 20 miles north of NYC, closed a few years ago to make way for a retail mall — business hadn’t been good. In 1934, Carvel was aided by a breakdown of his frozen custard truck in Hartsdale: he decided to sell the contents on the spot rather than let them spoil, and began to franchise in the Forties. By the mid-1980s, at Carvel’s peak, there were 865 ice cream franchisees. Carvel, you might recall, narrated his own commercials in his trademark unpolished style from the 1960s through the 1980s.
In Ridgewood, there’s a vintage Carvel complete with mechanical ice cream cones—at least until Hurricane Sandy polished them off in October 2012.
Here in Floral Park, Hillside and 266th Street, this is a modern Carvel storefront, but it does have two vintage neon Carvel script signs that are not a s frequently found as they used to be, Tom Carvel’s script may very well have been used to create this logo.
Another bit of franchise history can be found in Sheepshead Bay (some say Coney Island; see comments), on Sheepshead Bay Road and West 6th, where a rather unique design features
Speedy Speedee, Ronald McDonald’s predecessor as Mickey D mascot.